gloucestershire 368 (O Price 85, Lamb 70, Dale 52, Wright 3-40) and a 9-for-0 lead leicestershire 350 (Hill 103, Patel 59, Akhter 4-33) for 27 runs
The visiting captain’s 103 took almost five and a half hours and brought his team to a total of 350 in response to 368. Rishi Patel scored 59 of 70 balls while Louis Kimber chipped in 34 before being penalized for obstructing the field.
He started a sweltering day with Leicestershire 23 without losing. Starting pitchers Patel and Sol Budinger took it upon themselves to cut the 345 deficit in positive fashion.
Patel looked in top form, sweetly timing the ball and drawing a six from Tom Price as the pair moved up to fifty in the morning’s seventh over.
They looked set to build a significantly bigger stand when, on the total of 66, Budinger, on 21, aimed an ugly cross at a wide shot from Akhter and past goalkeeper James Bracey.
Patel hit four off successive deliveries from Danny Lamb to hit an impressive 56-ball half-century and followed it up with six in a row from Zafar Gohar’s first over, in the 19th innings.
It came as a surprise when Patel went down in the next over, beating a defensive shot from Akhter to second slip with the score at 85. A watchful Hill took 24 balls to miss the mark, before sweeping two fours from Gohar.
Ashley Down Road End’s Akhter’s initial five-for-five spell finished with figures of two for five, rewarding the 24-year-old who generated sustained pace and rebounding.
At lunch the score stood at 132 for two from 37 overs, with Hill unbeaten on 34. The afternoon session was interrupted just after 2.15pm by a fire alarm, brought on by the effects of high temperatures, causing that caused the evacuation of the pavilion. .
Among those forced to leave the building were the scorers, so the game was paralyzed. But after a ten-minute delay, normal service resumed. Colin Ackermann contributed 21 to a position of 66 with Hill before cutting into a wide delivery from Akhter and past Ben Charlesworth on the first slip.
Two runs by Tom Price took Hill to a 108-ball half-century, with six fours, from a total of 182 from threes. Slowly but surely, Leicestershire moved within striking distance of their opponents’ first-innings total.
They lost to former Gloucestershire player Peter Handscomb for 25 with the score at 193 when Ollie Price blasted through the back foot defense to cut through the stump.
But by tea, Kimber had helped the indefatigable Hill add 40 for the fifth wicket and his team looked comfortably placed at 233 for four.
The pair brought the score to 258 before Kimber, in the 34th, made an uncharacteristic start, given up after playing a pass from defensively offline Ollie Price to the ground, over his shoulder and then flicking the ball one-handed. .
Price immediately appealed for obstruction and referees Graham Lloyd and Paul Baldwin consulted before quickly sending Kimber on her way.
Hill had a moment of anxiety in the 83rd when he played a Tom Price delivery with the second new ball to Gully and was called for a suicide single by Rehan Ahmed, Miles Hammond’s throw to the pitcher’s end lacking the precision needed to put him out.
It was all the assist Hill needed to move to three figures from 205 balls, hitting 12 fours. But Akhter didn’t finish and produced a brutal short ball, which Ahmed, having passed to 28 of 32 balls, could only dodge on the second slip.
Hill’s long vigil ended when he gave a return catch to Ollie Price and Gohar quickly sent Chris Wright and Callum Parkinson back. But Tom Scriven’s 30 before falling lbw to Ollie Price (three for 40) secured a third batting point for Leicestershire.